Australia have made a flawless start to their 2018 World Cup qualification campaign, but they face their toughest test to date against Jordan at Amman International Stadium.
The Socceroos have a great record against Jordan, but it is never easy when you make a trip to the Middle East and Jordan have shown some promising signs in their three games to date.
Can Australia secure their place on top of the pool with another comfortable win or will Jordan record an upset and complicate the Socceroo’s journey to the 2018 FIFA World Cup?
Australia stamped themselves as the best team in Asia when they won the 2015 Asian Cup on home soil earlier this year and they have recorded three wins from as many games in recent months.
The Socceroos started their qualifying campaign with a scratchy 2-1 victory over Kyrgyzstan, but they were far too good for both Bangladesh and Tajikistan and plenty of different players – not just Tim Cahill – have managed to get themselves on the scoresheet.
The Australian squad has clearly thrived under Ange Postecoglou, but this will be easily their toughest test to date and they may opt to take a more defensive mindset into this fixture.
Jordan were knocked out on the pool stages in the 2015 Asian Cup and they struggled in friendlies earlier this year, but they have performed fairly well during their qualifying campaign to date.
They started their campaign with a comfortable away win against Tajikistan on June 11 and they were unable to take advantage of their opportunities against Kyrgyzstan, but they returned to their best form with a win over Bangladesh before they beat Iraq in a friendly last week.
Star striker Ahmda Hayel will miss this game due to a head injury and there is also a number of injury concerns over some key players, but they will take confidence from the fact that they beat Australia 2-1 in 2012.
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Australia are clear favourites to continue their winning start to their qualification campaign and they are currently available at $1.55 to beat Jordan on Friday morning. Jordan are now out to $5.20, while the draw has remained steady at $4.
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Australia are set to take close to a full strength team into this game and they have been boosted by the returns of Trent Sainsbury, James Troisi and Tomi Juric.
The nucleus of the Socceroos squad has really come together in the last 12 months and you can now have confidence that they can win games like this one on the road – a face that was backed up by key defender Matthew Spiranovic earlier in the week, who believes that Australia are now a much tougher side.
Jordan don’t have the depth to overcome the loss of a number of key players and we believes that Australia are a good bet at their current quote of $1.55 and may represent a bit of value at $2.38 with a one goal handicap.